Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Apologies for long silence!

I've been otherwise occupied with all kinds of work - and a ten day holiday in the South of France where - unlike Scotland this year - the sun shone most of the time and it was warm! Vive the 'Auld Alliance' is what I say, especially because I also bought a few lovely old textiles at the French equivalent of a boot sale - a vide grenier, or 'empty attic' sale. I'll post pictures on here in due course because the chintz in particular is stunning.
However, just a wee thought, from Scotland, in the current worldwide financial difficulties: woke this morning to a banking person rabbiting on, on Radio Scotland. She was heard to observe, among much else, that Scotland is attractive to businesses because it is 'cheap'.
Which got me thinking.
Housing throughout most of Scotland is as expensive as most of England and considerably more expensive than many desirable areas in England, even in the South.
The cost of living is pretty steep here. Food is no cheaper than in England and in the remoter parts of the country, very much more expensive.
Fuel costs are the same, and since it's undeniably colder, for longer, our bills are arguably a good deal higher.
The council tax we pay up here is phenomenally high. In fact conversations with friends in England have often included questions such as 'What do you live in? A castle?' when in fact we live in a nice old terraced cottage.
So what exactly can it be about Scotland that is so 'cheap' for businesses?
Oh yes. I've guessed it. Wages are exponentially lower up here. Which means that most of us, in the current climate, are struggling to survive, as compared to our friends in the south.
And if you can do something about that Mr Salmond, you'd definitely get my vote.

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